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Thread: Seaplane Restricted Landing Area Certification Requirements

  1. #1

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    Seaplane Restricted Landing Area Certification Requirements

    The FAA office in Wisconsin won't approve an application for certification of a Seaplane Restricted Landing Area because the lake is too small. It is 100 acres and the sea lane is 2,950 feet from shore to shore. The elevation is 1620 ft.

    The application is for a "private" Restricted Landing Area to be used by the owner who operates a Beaver and a PA-12/160hp.

    It appears that throughout the country, especially in Alaska, there are certified seaplane bases with a lot shorter sea lanes. He says that just because some other FAA employee certified a shorter sea lane, doesn't mean that he has to.

    I think he is just being timid and doesn't want his name on anything that might come back to bite him later.


    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Grant's Avatar
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    I'll see if anybody knows any secret handshakes for this problem at work today.

  3. #3
    SteveE's Avatar
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    A few years ago I tried to get a private strip "certified" with the FAA. I was inside another airports airspace... The tower manager DRUG his feet and really didnt want to do it at all.. I called the certification office (the FAA regional airport certification office) and talked to the lady there that certifies airports... She said it was no big deal and told me what to do.. I went back to the tower manager and told him that it was no big deal and here is what to do... he checked with the FAA lawyers, ,his supervisor,, just trying to cover his butt. Anyway he did it, took 18 months, but I was persistent...

    Then the city turned me down on the special use permit... (money talks) So I got pissed off and did it anyway... All I do now is instead of having a certified airport,, I just land in my own field... A OK with the local tower,, and the city is turning their cheek,,, for a while anyway..

    My suggestion is to be persistent,, but have all the info you can get before going back to this guy.. Call the regional certification office and be really nice and ask them how to get it done... arm yourself with info... Then go back to the guy, with examples of others that have done it or are doing it. Even if they are in AK..
    Dont get in an argument, kill them with kindness and just say " others are doing it, I know it can be done, so whats the procedure".. Dont go away,, call once a week.. and if they say they will call you back, get a time... if the time passes,, call them...
    He will get the message just to get you off their ass.. I had email corespondence too, and kept them.
    All he is doing is trying to keep his job.. the employees are so scared to make a decision, afraid they might lose their job...

  4. #4

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    We've done all that. Each time they add more requirements. Been sweet as sugar to them. It's the airport certification officer that is objecting.

    They agree that the state, county, and town has no say because it is only the water I am certifying, not the land.

    I gave them a dozen examples of really tiny certified seaplane landing areas throughout the States, but he won't budge. He says the FAA has no problem with seaplanes using the lake, just that they won't certify it.

    We want it certified to improve the property's value and so it can never be taken away.

  5. #5
    SteveE's Avatar
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    Do you have in writing what they require? Get it in writing with his signiture... and then go over his head. If you meet the requirements then they have to certify it... thats what I have been told.

  6. #6
    mvivion's Avatar
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    There is an FAA document which spells out criteria for "approved" airports, including seaplane bases. Here is a link to the section you care about:

    http://www.faa.gov/regulations_polic...cumentID/22228

    Here is what you need to show the guy:

    22. WATER OPERATING AREA DIMENSIONS.
    A water operating area at least 2,500 feet (750 m) by
    200 feet (60 m) is recommended. This size will
    accommodate a sea lane 2,500 feet (750 m) by 100 feet
    (30 m) with 200 foot (60 m) diameter turning basin at
    each end. Although a depth of 6 feet (1.8 m) is
    preferred, a minimum depth of 3 feet (1 m) is adequate
    for single-engine operations. The length of the water
    operating area needs to be increased by 7 percent per
    1000 feet (300 m) of elevation above sea level to
    compensate for the change in density altitude.

    Even with the increase for density altitude, your 2900 feet should make it. Copy this AC and take it down to the gent, and ask him what criteria HE is referencing....and which FAA he works for

    Finally, even this states that the length given here is "recommended" not required.

    You're right--there are lots of seaplane bases around of that size or smaller. Going to be tight for anything but a Cub or similar if at GW, but..

    MTV

  7. #7
    Grizzley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STMAWR14
    We want it certified to improve the property's value and so it can never be taken away.
    Can you get it registered without being certified? That would be a first step and would allow you to have it on sectionals and if registered, its "official" and in the system; would make future attempts to keep you from using it for float operation later on, difficult. Would make all the insurance and responsibility stuff easier too.
    Just a thought...
    JD

  8. #8
    bearsnack
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    If the lake is large enough for a step turn would they consider that for you in the interpretation of the regulations? In reality that would add at least 60% more length to your "runway" . It is a proven and documented procedure that you could possibly use.

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